Originally posted: July 4, 2009
A whale, one might understand. But a cow?!
On June 27, 2009, a large brown cow washed up on the beaches near Clover Point/Victoria, Canada. By Monday the 29th, she was STILL there.
This cow – a simple, domesticated and dead bovine – caused quite a stir for the City of Victoria. Why you ask?
Reported in the Times Colonist (by M. Pearson):
“…the animal washed up about six metres from the water’s edge, but below the high-water line, meaning that technically, it falls within the federal government’s jurisdiction…”
Simple, right? Hell, no!
The Department of Oceans and Fisheries were first called in to remove the rotting carcass. However, DOF officials stated that they only deal with beached “sea life” and this creature was, after all, a land mammal. Then the Canadian Food Inspection Agency was called in to deal with the matter. But after careful consideration, a concern was raised that the animal may have floated in from foreign waters, prompting consultation with US officials.
Sgt. J. McRae of the Victoria Police was quoted: “It was originally thought to be a dead horse, but once the officers got there they were able to determine it was a cow.”
Brilliant. Just brilliant.
Speaking of brilliant, I found many of the suggestions/responses posted by the public in their comments quite humorous :
“Well, legally, that cow is homeless so I think it has a legal right to lie on that beach between 10 PM-6 AM. After that, the police will have to come in and remove it.” (Paul D)
“Maybe it jumped over the Moon and crash landed in the ocean?” (Hey Diddle Diddle)
“I guess the city doesn’t own any chainsaws? Or are they having a meeting to decide when to meet about meeting to discuss acquiring the permits to get the equipment to remove the health hazard?” (anonymous)
There were also several suggestions for a “public beach BBQ”.
In her demise, “Cuddles” (dubbed so by the locals) not only crossed the line from the land of the living to the land of the dead, but her carcass now lay across several jurisdictional lines including the fact that the beach she washed up on was part of the City of Victoria park property. She was (eventually) officially taken on as the responsibility of CFIA and is in transport to Calgary, Alberta for further evaluation (a place where folks can distinguish between a horse and cow).
So where do you draw the line — the jurisdictional line in these, what I would call, highly unusual one-off cases?
Well, for starters, I wouldn’t have called the poor creature “Cuddles”.